My friend Annika is having some lady friends over for dinner. We’re having wine, lasagna, salad, wine, dessert, wine. I am in charge of the dessert. Here’s what I’m making… Since Annika is a lactard, I may substitute trans-fat-free margarine and hope for the best. (Scratch that; I’m using real butter. Annika can handle it apparently!) xo, m
Whole Lemon Tart
Adapted from Rollet-Pradier via Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets via Smitten Kitchen
1 partially baked 9-inch (24-cm) Great Unshrinkable Tart Shell, or your favorite sweet tart shell
1 average-sized lemon (about 4 1/2 ounces; 130 grams), rinsed and dried (a regular lemon will make a sharper, more bitter tart; a Meyer lemon, however, will really make this tart sing)
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons (12 grams) cornstarch
1 stick (4 ounces; 115 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven 325°F (165°C). Line a trimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and put the tart shell on the sheet.
Slice the lemon into thin wedges, remove the seeds, and toss the lemon and sugar into the container of a blender or food processor. Blend or process, scraping down the sides of the container as needed, until the lemon is thoroughly pureed and blended with the sugar, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the mixture into a bowl and, using a whisk, gently stir in the whole egg and the yolk, followed by the cornstarch and melted butter. [I actually just use the food processor for this whole mixing part, beating the other ingredients in until smooth.] Pour the filling into the crust but be sure to leave 1/4 inch between the top of your filling and the top edge of your crust.
Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake the tart for 20 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling, lightly browned and set. Don’t take the tart out until it is clearly set, however — you’re looking for a slight jiggliness with no suggestion of liquid underneath. Transfer the tart, still on the baking sheet, to a cooling rack and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing it from the pan. The tart is ready to be served when it reaches room temperature.
After baking this I have a few recommendations: Bake it for longer than it says at 325 degrees. Mine took 10 minutes more to “set,” and I kept it at the lower temperature so it didn’t brown too much on top. Also, I recommend using a full lemon minus 1/2 of the rind. My tart was delicious but a little too bitter.